Long Review: Lightspeed’s My Big Campus and learning.com
5/31/2012 By: David Andrade
My Big Campus:
This school year, I have been using and reviewing My Big
Campus from Lightspeed Systems, an online service that
allows schools to create an engaging, collaborative, online
environment. It was extremely easy to set up and use, and
there are great help resources, a blog with tips for using it,
and a user forum. Below are some highlights in my final
review of this product:
* Resource Library: I include files and links and use the calendar
feature to put in assignment due dates, test dates, and more. These
are all filed under the “Your Stuff” section.
* Assignments: The assignments feature allows you to easily assign
students work, manage assignments, and see who has completed
what assignments. Students get notified about new assignments so
they won’t forget.
* Apps: My Big Campus has apps for iOS and Android. The apps
include most of the functions that the full Web site does.
* EduTalk: EduTalk is MBC’s “social network for educators.” It is
made up of status updates from educators, not students, and allows
educators to share resources, tips, ideas, and more.
* Calendar: The calendar feature allows you to add events,
reminders, due dates, and more. Your students can subscribe to the
class calendar to stay current and get reminders.
* Conversations: The conversations feature is a great place to hold
virtual study and help sessions. It can be used in real time, or can
be done as you and your students have time to connect.
* Schoolwork: Here you can assign work to your students and post
assignments. It also keeps track of what is graded and what still
needs to be graded.
My Big Campus is a very useful and powerful tool for educators and students.
To give it a try, visit www.mybigcampus.com
This is one in a series of posts about our year-old pilot with
the STEM Web site Learning.com. The site allows teachers
to assign math, science, and technology lessons or units.
Formative and Summative Assessments: The feature that our
students and teachers most enjoy is the ability for students to
gather immediate feedback. This provides students with a real
sense of motivation that their work—evening game playing—is
being viewed as skill progress. Students feel comfortable going
back and reviewing videos.
We, as a district, are working on making decisions based on
formative assessments and have been experimenting with making
quizzes using Google forms and the widget, Flubaroo, to grade the
quizzes. This process gave us some minimal data to make decisions
on. After we had the students take a quick math quiz using our
Google form, we created an assessment using learning.com. These
questions are lengthy and can include diagrams. After we had the
students take both assessments that covered the same standards, we
discussed which was more challenging and reviewed their scores.
The assessments in learning.com are problem-based questions
that make students practice their skills in context. Although
our students found these questions challenging, the assessment
questions provided were allowing us to see if they could transfer the
skill into a new, novel problem environment.
We will continue to use both of our formative assessment tools, but
seeing the difference in skill that occurs when students are asked
to transfer knowledge into new word and diagram problems is
causing us to think about our assessment creation differently.
The video and assessment support that this program provides has
been extremely engaging to our students and has allowed us to
see them as independent learners who need feedback to continue
Peg Keiner is an instructional technology coach for Oak Lawn-
Hometown District 123.